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Multilateral Donor Agency Effectiveness: Country Level Perceptions

ODA is increasing. Donors, aid recipient governments and civil society organisations are asking about the effectiveness of aid and the bilateral and multilateral organisations (MOs) that disburse it.

This DFID funded pilot project aims to build an understanding of key stakeholders’ perceptions of effectiveness of multilateral organisations. By engaging key stakeholders at the recipient country level, we hope to generate more debate about the relative effectiveness of donors and create the impetus to move to more effective mutual accountability mechanisms.

The assessment was be carried out in six countries: South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Bangladesh and India. It asked for opinions about the Asian or African Development Bank; the European Commission; the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM); the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP); United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and the World Bank. It relied on the perceptions of a small number of expert opinions from a cross-section of people representing a range of perspectives on MO effectiveness.

• Build a better understanding of the performance of MOs amongst decision-makers, parliamentarians and other key stakeholders both in donor and recipient countries;
• Develop a better informed dialogue between MOs and DFID staff at headquarters and country level;
• Develop a better informed dialogue between MOs and key stakeholders in-country;
• Improve the performance of MOs at the country level.

This project will be managed and implemented by ODI in collaboration with country coordinators in the six countries in which the survey will be undertaken.

Phase 1: Feburary - September 2007
During the first phase we collected data from the 6 countries and produced a report on the on the aggregate performance of MOs across the sample countries. The report was produced for DFID.

Phase 2: September 2007 - May 2008
The second phase will see country coordinators, supported by ODI, analyse the data in-country and engage with key stakeholders to develop a dialogue about their government’s engagement with MOs.

ODI will produce:

  • A report analysing the main quantitative findings from the country samples. Pull out boxes will be used to highlight key quotes and to use the emerging qualitative data to contextualise the rankings produced.
  • A report (plus annexes) analysing the main findings from the country samples.
  • An in-depth description of the methodology including a reflection on how it could be improved for any future work.
  • An ODI project briefing
  • A series of country level publications. These will be used by the country coordinators to build and deepen the country level debate about how the government engages with donors.
  • The study will generate new information of interest to stakeholders in the study countries and beyond (taking into account sensitivities with the data) and beyond the length of the project. ODI will capitalise on this by developing and implementing a communications plan to target stakeholders with the relevant reports, to engage in-country stakeholders in a debate about the evidence generated. This plan will include an element for dealing with the media.
Ajoy Datta, Ken Mease, Laura Jarque, Naved Chowdhury, Duncan Sinclair